Infographic: Ingredients in your E-Cig Liquid Juices

Have you ever wondered what exactly is in e-cig liquid that makes it so flavourful and such a pleasure to vape with? Or perhaps you want to be certain that e-cig juice is indeed safer for your body than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes. No matter what the reason is for your curiosity, though, you can continue reading to learn about the various ingredients in e-cig juice.

The Base Ingredients


Every e-liquid contains a base, and this base consists of either propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, or polyethylene glycol, which is also known as PEG400.

Propylene glycol produces that famous throat hit that vaping is known for, and it also carries flavour more effectively than vegetable glycerine. This ingredient is non-toxic and considered safe, and it’s found in other everyday products, from foods and cosmetics, to medicines. However, a small group of people are sensitive to propylene glycol, so the alternative is polyethylene glycol.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG400) is the ingredient of choice for anyone who’s sensitive to either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine. It provides a high level of quality at a very low toxicity rate. You can find this ingredient in a variety of everyday items as well, such as foods, mouthwash, and cosmetics. The vapour that’s produced by this ingredient is very dense, and it also produces a great throat hit. However, some may note that it has either a chemical or creamy flavour. And, unlike propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, this ingredient isn’t converted into energy after you inhale its vapour. Instead, it simply leaves the body via the urine.

Vegetable glycerine is extracted from plants. It’s a natural ingredient that can even be used to treat certain conditions, such as bacterial infections and gum disease. It produces a thick vapour that’s also a bit sweeter than the vapour produced by propylene glycol. Compared to propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine also produces a lot more vapour. About 1 in every 1,000 people, though, is sensitive to this ingredient. And because vegetable glycerine is really thick and difficult to vape, it’s often combined with propylene glycol to deliver the right amount of vapour production, throat hit, and flavour.

In addition to these base ingredients, an e-liquid may also contain water, often to prevent clogging cartomisers by creating a desirable consistency, especially when using thicker bases like vegetable glycerine.

A Closer Look at Base Ingredients


To choose the right e-liquid, it’s important to know the differences between the different types of base ingredients.

Polyethylene Glycol

  • Derived from petroleum or animal oils
  • Higher viscosity than vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol
  • Produces a strong throat hit and dense vapour
  • Has a somewhat chemical or creamy taste

Propylene Glycol

  • Derived from petroleum or animal oils
  • Lower viscosity than vegetable glycerine and polyethylene glycol
  • Produces a stronger throat hit, but less vapour, than vegetable glycerine and polyethylene glycol
  • Has virtually no taste

Vegetable Glycerine

  • Derived from plant oils
  • Higher viscosity than propylene glycol
  • Produces a weaker throat hit, but more vapour, than polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol.
  • Has a somewhat sweet flavour

The Nicotine

The addictive stimulant found in regular cigarettes is nicotine. For those who wish to use vaping as a means to quit smoking, a bit of nicotine is added to e-liquids.

These e-liquids are available in a range of nicotine strengths, depending upon each individual’s needs. And there are also nicotine-free e-liquids for those who want to simply enjoy the act of vaping without the nicotine addiction.

E-liquid nicotine strengths include 36mg, 24mg, 18mg, 16mg, 12mg, 10mg, 6mg, and 0mg. All of these doses are considered safe, but very high concentrations of nicotine can be toxic and lead to death.

The Flavouring Ingredients

In order to make the vapour produced by your e-cig tasty, flavouring is added. After all, nicotine has no flavour of its own.

Hundreds of flavour options are available, and these include menthol, tobacco, cherry, vanilla, apple, watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, mango, pineapple, and many more.

A Warning About Diacetyl and Nicotine

Avoid any e-cig juice that contains diacetyl. Although it does occur naturally in alcoholic drinks and is used to add fragrance and flavour to foods and other items, it’s toxic in a gaseous state. When inhaled, it can cause obliterative bronchiolitis, which is a lung disease that’s irreversible and potentially fatal.

Also, symptoms of nicotine overdose include elevated blood pressure, rapid heart rate, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, diarrhoea, convulsions, and seizures that may lead to coma and/or death. All nicotine products should be kept out of the reach of children and animals, and you should be aware of the signs of overdose.

Don’t Swallow E-Liquid or Get It on Your Skin


If you accidentally swallow e-liquid, don’t induce vomiting. Instead, contact emergency medical services immediately. And in the event that you get e-liquid on your skin, wash thoroughly with a lot of water and plenty of mild soap.

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